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4 Drought Tolerant Plants That Repel Mosquitoes

The spread of the Zika virus has caused a stampede of gardeners running to the nursery looking for plants that repel mosquitoes with the hope of lowering the risk of being infected with Zika. It is true some plants do repel mosquitos, but unfortunately you are going to have to do more than just grow them in your garden to be successful at repelling mosquitoes. To take advantage of the mosquito repelling effects of plants you are going to have to boil, burn or rub them on your skin. Burning or boiling the plants will help drive the mosquitos away for a short time. So if you are eating out in the garden with friends or just enjoying some quiet time after work burning some sage or rosemary should provide some added protection and for most the odor is pleasant. With herbs it is okay to just rub the leaves on your skin. It ‘s best to try them in a small area first to make sure you are not allergic to the herb. This is a great natural way to protect against mosquitos.



This plant is excellent go to plant in any garden. It is hearty, looks great, and has a beautiful scent. The only thing it doesn’t like is too much water. JAIN Landscape


Catnip plants grow to 3 feet tall, with a spread of 1½-2 feet. In the summer and early fall, they produce 3"-4" spikes of tiny white flowers spotted with pale purple. Catnip

Sage (Salvia)

This plant is tolerant of all kinds of soil. If you keep it in a sunny area it will do great, and it is drought tolerant too.



This plant works well as a ground cover, has a very pleasant scent and is also drought tolerant. It can stay in bloom year round so it is perfect for high visibility areas of the garden. Rosemary

Additional ways to cut down on mosquitos and save water

  1. Eliminate standing water in your garden. Mosquitoes lay eggs is as little water as a bottle cap. Eliminate the areas they can lay eggs, like saucers under plants, tarps, fountains and tarps.
  2. Use fine wire mess to keep mosquitos out of your rain barrels.
Zika is a serious safe issue for those people working outdoors in gardens. I believe it is going to take more than these plants to effectively protect your self against the Zika virus. Here is a great article from the EPA concerning DEET the active ingredient found in many insect repellants. You can also read about natural insect repellants you can purchase here.So lets stay safe out there, but don’t let this pest keep us from enjoying gardens.  If you enjoyed this article please consider subscribing to the blog or following me on Twitter @H2oTrends.


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Richard Restuccia

Richard is a water management evangelist. He believes passionately in water efficiency and sees the financial and social benefits far too often to keep a secret. Richard is a spokesperson at industry events and on the Hill to provide direction and insight on landscape water management best practices. Richard puts his words into action through service on various boards and committees. He served on the Irrigation Association’s Board of Directors. Richard also writes for other publications and is an award winning contributor to Lawn & Landscape Magazine. In 2014 his efforts were recognized with a “Leadership in Landscape” award. He has a great interest in the supply of clean water for people in developing countries and as an outdoorsman, spends his free time running, swimming and surfing.


Anonymous commented on 14-Oct-2016 09:27 AM 
These are great, simple ideas! I especially like the ones about knowing your water bill. Most of my customers don’t even know what they pay for!

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